Lucchino on negotiations: 'Sweet reasonableness reared its lovely head'

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Lucchino on negotiations: 'Sweet reasonableness reared its lovely head'

BOSTON When the Red Sox announced the hiring on Sunday of John Farrell as the new manager, it appeared the Sox got the guy they had been planning on all along, going back to last offseason when they attempted to pry him from the Blue Jays after Terry Francona was fired.

It also appeared that the interviews granted to Dodgers third base coach Tim Wallach, Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus, Yankees bench coach, and Orioles third base coach and former Sox bench coach DeMarlo Hale were little more than going through the motions.

Not so, said Sox presidentCEO Larry Lucchino, who was largely responsible for the negotiations with the Blue Jays that extricated Farrell from Toronto with one year remaining on his contract. Lucchino, who dealt with Paul Beeston, his Toronto counterpart and good friend, said he was not completely confident throughout the process of negations, which began around Oct. 10, that the deal would get done.

And thats why the suggestion that somehow we were making a mistake in bringing in other people to interview is I think unfounded, Lucchino said. There was a lot of uncertainty as to whether this thing could be done. And we had to prepare for Plan B.

What prevailed?

I dont know, he said. I like to think it was sweet reasonableness that somehow reared its lovely head in the middle of the process. On both parts.

Still, it was a complicated process.

We had plenty of conversations, Lucchino said. You got to understand, Beeston and I are very good friends. So we can spend a lot of time talking about the War of 1812, or the American presidential campaigns, and other gossip in baseball, and we do that a lot. This time it was certainly primarily focused on the business at hand. And Paul was very strong and assertive about the interest in his team. If they were going to release someone from their contract, which he felt had a high degree of importance, they needed someone of quality in return.

So it was really plenty of talk about the principals but it was also about the standard to be applied to this transaction. And then Sox general manager Ben Cherington and Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos were part and parcel to that discussion a lot of the times and oftentimes were asked to focus on certain players.

But in general, I would say it was amicable, it was honest, and it proved to be productive, I think, for both teams.

Last year, when the Sox attempted to get Farrell in the managerial search that led to Bobby Valentine on Dec. 1, the Blue Jays asked for right-hander Clay Buchholz in return. That request abruptly stopped talks between the Sox and Jays. This year, with just a year left on his contract with Toronto, the Jays reigned in their requests somewhat, getting infielder Mike Aviles in return.

Lets just say that they made substantial demands on us throughout the process and it had to evolve over time for us to find the right combination of consideration, Lucchino said. Because absolutely they deserve consideration and they got it in our last years starting shortstop. Its a far cry from what the process we went through last year with respect to our general manager.

I would have to say yes there was a different tenor and I think part of it was because of the existing relationships that go back a few decades in baseball between us and the Blue Jays and Paul Beeston.

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

Quotes, notes and stars: Pomeranz 'made one pitch that hurt' Red Sox

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

QUOTES:

"He pitched as we had anticipated at the time of the trade.'' - John Farrell on Drew Pomeranz.

"I had a good curveball and I was locating my fastball a lot better. I was in a lot better counts all night, but I made one pitch that hurt us.'' - Pomeranz on his outing.

"He was able to limit the damage against a very good offensive team. He pitched well enough to win. I just wish we could have put more runs on the board for him.'' - Jackie Bradley Jr. on Pomeranz.

 

NOTES:

* Until Monday night, the Red Sox had won their last six series openers.

* Drew Pomeranz has allowed four or fewer hits in 12 of his 18 starts this season.

* Eleven of Travis Shaw's last 15 hits have been for extra bases.

* Jackie Bradley Jr. had his 25th multi-hit game.

* Sandy Leon is hitting .500 (11-for-22) with runners in scoring position.

* The Red Sox are 21-21 in games decided by two or fewer runs.

* Dustin Pedroia (walk, single) has reached base in 28 straight games.

* Xander Bogaerts has 133 hits through 97 games. Since 1940, only Wade Boggs (134 in 1983; 135 in 1987) and Adrian Gonzalez (135 in 2011) had more.

STARS:

1) Justin Verlander

Verlander has enjoyed a bounce-back season of sorts this year, and the Red Sox got to see it up close Monday night as Verlander limited them a single run over six innings.

2) Jose Iglesias

The former Red Sox shortstop haunted his old team with a two-run homer in the sixth to put the Tigers ahead to stay.

3) Drew Pomeranz

The lefty absorbed the loss, but pitched well enough to win, giving up two runs in six innings while striking out seven.

 

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions: Pomeranz is better, but Red Sox fall to Tigers

First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-2 loss to the Detroit Tigers:

 

1) The same problem remains for Joe Kelly

As a starter, no one doubted Kelly's fastball, and the velocity with which he threw it. But the problem was, Kelly's fastball was often quite straight, and most major league hitters can hit a fastball without movement, no matter how hard it's thrown.

In his first appearance as a reliever for the Red Sox, the same problem reared its head.

Kelly started off Justin Upton with a 99 mph fastball. After an 89 mph slider, Kelly next threw a 101 mph fastball.

But Upton drove it on a line to the triangle for a triple, and two batters later, trotted home on a soft flare to center by James McCann.

Velocity is one thing and can produce some swings-and-misses. But ultimately, Kelly is going to need more than straight gas to get hitters out.

 

2) Drew Pomeranz was miles better in his second start

Pomeranz failed to get an out in the fourth inning of his Red Sox debut and was charged with five runs.

So when Pomeranz -- who allowed just one hit through the first three innings Monday night -- allowed a leadoff single to Miguel Cabrera to start the fourth, there was uneasy sense of deja vu at Fenway.

But Pomeranz quickly erased Cabrera on a double play and through five innings had allowed just three hits and a walk.

He got into some trouble in the sixth when he allowed a one-out, two-run homer to Jose Iglesias, erasing what had been a 1-0 Red Sox lead.

But Pomeranz was far sharper than his first outing, threw his curveball for more strikes and kept the Tigers mostly off-balance. His line (6 IP; 4 H; 2 ER; 2 BB; 7 K) will be more than good enough on most nights.

Just not Monday night.

 

3) They may lead MLB in runs scored, but there are still nights when the Red Sox offense can frustrate

It happened last Friday when they loaded the bases with no out against the Twins - and failed to score in a 2-1 loss.

It was more of the same Monday night when the Sox loaded the bases in the ninth -- and managed just one run.

The problems weren't limited to the ninth, of course. The Sox put the leadoff man on in both the seventh and eighth innings -- and didn't score.

For the game, the Sox left 11 men on and were just 2-for-10 with runners in scoring position.